Brandon Sheppard to pursue Lucas Oil title in 2022

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Brandon Sheppard(center), owner Mark Richards, and crew chief Danny White of the Rocket 1 team

The winningest team in the history of the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Late Model Series and its defending champion has decided to seek the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship in 2022. Brandon Sheppard has piloted the Rocket Chassis house car for team owner Mark Richards to four WoO Late Models titles including the last three in a row. The New Berlin, Illinois driver recently tied Josh Richards atop the all-time wins list for that national touring series with 78.

Richards, who drove the Rocket house car for his father prior to Sheppard, has also won four series championships. The totals of those two drivers alone have accounted for 156 wins and eight championships on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

Sheppard finished fourth in the final standings for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series standings in 2016 driving a Rocket Chassis for Ohio-based Best Performance Motorsports.

With no scheduling conflicts between the two traditional national series up to this point in the 2022 season, Sheppard has been able to compete in all races held by both sanctions. He currently sits third in the World of Outlaws standings while leading the LOLMDS points after having posted four feature victories with that tour.

This weekend will be the first time in 2022 that the schedules of the two tours have conflicted with the WoO teams headed for Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday and Saturday and the Lucas Oil teams making their way to Illinois for events at Tri-City Speedway and Macon Speedway on those same days.

“The past few years we’ve come out of Speedweeks either atop the Lucas Oil (Late Model Dirt Series) points or near the top of the standings. This year was the same, and after Speedweeks we had a meeting as a team to discuss if we wanted to try something different this year, and it was a unanimous decision to go after the Lucas Oil title,” team owner Mark Richards said in a press release posted to the team’s website. “The World Racing Group and the World of Outlaws have been great to us over the past several years, and we are grateful for all the support they’ve shown us. We’re just to a point that it was time to shuffle the deck and try something new, and who knows, next year we might be back chasing a World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship.”

Brandon Sheppard will seek his first Lucas Oil title in 2022

Another thing to consider is that Sheppard now places Rocket as a the front runner on the Lucas Oil standings as he leaves the WoO Late Model tour where Rocket drivers Dennis Erb Jr. and Max Blair are ranked first and second. The West Virginia-based chassis brand now has increased its chances to win both championships.

Of course, it’s still very early in the season so nothing is guaranteed but Sheppard and the Rocket 1 Racing team with its skill level and its depth of talent are almost certain to contend for even more race wins and the title on the Lucas Oil Series throughout 2022. A number of drivers of all chassis makes on the talent-rich Lucas Oil tour will look to thwart the No. 1 team’s hopes of adding its first championship on that series.

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